MUSSOORIE, May 30
Nature enthusiasts were in for a rude shock when the 100 acre Jabarkhet Nature Reserve broke the news of a fire.
A facebook post from the 1.3K followed facebook page of JNR on Wednesday read, “Dear friends of JNR. It is with great sadness that we have to inform you about a major forest fire that has affected almost 80% of the Reserve. The team fought valiantly to control it but it was just too severe to manage. We will assess the damage and work hard towards the recovery of the forest and wildlife that we love. In the meantime, please bear with us if we are unable to meet your requests to explore the Reserve. And pray for rain!!
The massive fire which began at the privately owned forest on Saturday night could only be controlled on Sunday early morning. The noon however saw another fire rage in. “Together the two fires easily destroyed a total of 6 hectares of forest area. It is sad to see a place so lovingly preserved go up in fire, probably because of the carelessness of a villager nearby”, Forester Gajendra Dutt Gour told eNewsDesk. It took about 15 people to control the fire.
Ever since it was inaugurated three years back, JNR has been popular with nature lovers.
The idea behind the reserve has been to demonstrate a model that combines conservation, education and ecotourism, while generating economic benefits for local communities and land owners. The brainchild of conservationist Sejal Worah and landowner Vipul Jain, setting up of the Nature Reserve had given a new lease of life to a forest that was facing slow degradation from overuse and neglect.
Comments like “absolutely heartbroken”, “terrible”, “ready to volunteer” etc were posted soon after the faceboook page of the reserve broke the news of the fire.